Success Stories​

NIKE - 13 year old Bichon Frise​​

History- Acute back injury on 7/29/2010 with prior history of back injury 7 years earlier. He underwent a right sided hemilaminectomy at T13-L1 on 7/31/2010. His family reported receiving 3 weeks of rehabilitation at the hospital with limited progress. His family chose to discontinue therapy at that time. Nike initiated therapy with DDR on January 22, 2010. He was able to stand for short periods to eat but not able to use his hind limbs to walk. Assistance was required for him to achieve standing. His family was assisting him with a sling, to support his hind end for walking. Significant atrophy was noted in both hind legs. Decreased mobility was noted in the hips and stifles. Knuckling of both hocks was noted in standing. He also adducted (pulled in) both hind legs. He would sit or lie with his hips flexed but his stifles (knees) and hocks extended. He was only able to take 3-4 steps at which time he would fall to the right side. Further attempts to walk caused him to drag his hind legs. His hind legs shook if he stood for more than a few minutes.

Therapy was initiated 2 times/week and was supplemented with daily home exercises. Initially, we focused on standing and weight shifting, electric stimulation of the hip muscles and stretching to increase hip and stifle mobility (ROM). As he grew stronger, we began working on walking. After 3 weeks, he began to stand up independently. He was also able to walk short distances without falling and could sit controlled after stopping. We continued to work on his strength and endurance for short distance walking in the house and yard. After 8 weeks of therapy, he was able to walk more consistently for short distances and stand for moderate periods of time. He still requires a sling assist to consistently use his hind legs as he otherwise tries to walk to fast and has a tendency to drag his hind legs. His family will continue to work with him at home over the next few months to further build his strength to walk.

BAXTER - 8 year old Beagle​​

History - An acute onset of back pain January 10, 2011. X-rays showed a calcified disc at L6-L7. His back was very painful to the touch and he was unable to fully weight bear on his hind legs. His family was carrying him up and down the stairs. He was placed on steroids, pain medication and crate rest. If this was unsuccessful, surgery was recommended. Baxter was evaluated on January 29, 2011. He was initiated on low level laser, electric stimulation, massage and exercise. Lifestyle modifications were recommended such as no jumping or running. Weight loss and diet changes were also made. Baxter received 5 sessions of therapy. He completed his steroids prior to his last session. Baxter showed no further signs of pain and was able to walk for longer periods and tolerate the stairs better. His family will continue with his home exercises and weight loss/management. 

LUNA - 1 year old Chocolate Labrador Retriever

History - chronic lameness on the left front leg since 5 months of age. Trial of anti-inflammatory medication, stretching and strengthening exercises with initial improvement but then return on lameness with increased activity (running and playing in deep snow) at 11 months. Orthopedic consult in January diagnosed her with elbow dysplasia (FCP -fragmented coronoid process). She underwent arthroscopic surgery for both elbows. IRLT (infra-red light therapy), pulsed ultrasound and gentle stretching were initiated 4 days post op. She was also initiated on a controlled walking program. Jumping or running were restricted as was stair climbing. She was also placed on chondro-protective supplements. After 2 weeks, active exercises were initiated. At her post-operative recheck, the orthopedic surgeon noted that she had progressed more quickly than most FCP patients post op. She is walking without a limp or head bob. Luna will be continued to be followed for exercise and joint protection.

SOPHIE - 1 year old Hound/Lab mix

Sophie is a helter dog at JSAC who was noticed to have hind limb pain and limping after activity. She was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia and underwent FHO (femoral head and neck osteotomy) for both hips on February 22, 2011. Her therapy was initiated the following day for passive stretching, massage, low level laser and ultrasound. She received daily cold packs by the shelter staff. Her therapy was daily for the first 2 weeks. Hip mobility slowly progressed over that time. More pain and tightness was noted in the left hip. This was also noted on her pre-operative evaluation. She was initiated on short distance sling walks on day 4 post-op. By the second week, she was able to ambulate without the sling. Ramps and curbs were added to increase hind limb weight bearing. Under Water Treadmill was added at 5 weeks as she was still hesitant to weight bear on her left hind limb andstraighten out her back. 
At 6 weeks post-op, her walking has progressively improved and she is now focusing on more hills, endurance and short trots. Sophie is now able to walk for up to 45 minutes with only short rest periods. Sophie improved to the level of trotting and cantering (running) at such a fast pace, I had trouble keeping up with her. She is able to stand on her hind legs to beg at a counter and jump into a low vehicle unassisted. Sophie met her new family at a DDR's table at Toms River Animal Hospital's Open House. She captured their hearts with her sweet face and affectionate, easygoing personality. Sophie found her forever home! She was adopted on May 29, 2011. Her new family includes 3 young boys to play and run with now that her hips are pain free and strong after her rehab!
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